Nations Among the Stars
Nations Among the Stars…
In a lot of science fiction, the nations of the Earth have all but disappeared, to be replaced by a monolith culture. The Federation of Star Trek comes first and foremost to mind. The more optimistic the sci-fi, the more likely this is the case. Pessimistic visions of the future are far more likely to have humanity fragmented into factions.
After Moses has a bit of that optimism and pessimism rolled into one. The backstory is optimistic. A benevolent AI leading mankind into a bright future. It’s only when we get to the present that the pessimism kicks in. Moses is gone, and humans have been left to themselves with their support structure cut.
Keeping recognizable nations, or at the very least elements of their culture, was something I envisioned when I first started planning After Moses. This would help give an anchor for readers to latch on to, things familiar among the unfamiliar solar system. The first chapter has Matthew walk into a city of brightly painted buildings still flying flags from their long gone homeland of Chili. I mentioned colonies founded by several different nations, and in the chapter openers, the speakers are from numerous different cultures. Offhand, I can think of Russian, Ethiopian, British, Czech, Polish, Japanese, and more.
But why are there unique national colonies? Wouldn’t Moses recognize the value of multicultural colonies as he helped found them? Maybe. Some colonies are certainly melting pots. Ceres is described that way, and a city featured in the twelfth chapter certainly has no recognizable Earth culture. At the same time, I imagine that Moses also recognized the value of unique and different cultures and did what he could to preserve them. He even seemed to have established colonies close to their old neighbors. On Mars, there are many European nations and the American colony, Arizona. The Japanese colony of Kyoto is also on Mars, but I rationalized this by how closely the Japanese economy is tied to the European ones.
Of course, with nations comes the potential for all the old problems that come with them: conflicts, trade disagreements, and more.
Even the crew of the Sparrow is from a wide array of backgrounds. Matthew Cole is American but seems to have spent a significant amount of time on Spanish speaking Europa. Yvonne’s heritage isn’t quite as explicitly described, but her onyx black skin suggests descent from Africa, and her husband’s last name Naude suggests the same. Grace Anderson’s long blond hair and name peg her from northern Europe, Davey is from China that was lost, and Abigail…
Where is Abigail from…?
Anyway, I just wanted to give a few more insights into the world of After Moses. I hope that the familiar peoples will help provide a sense that this isn’t too far into the future, that in a couple of centuries, not all things are lost, even if Earth itself is. Thanks for reading! Come back next week for chapter 11. It’s got some of the best action yet!
Michael F. Kane